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Tread carefully on Sudan, Kibaki warns

NAIROBI, July 21 – Kenya has cautioned that any isolationist policy against the sitting Government of Sudan would be counter-productive.

"The international community must help the Government of Sudan find an amicable solution to the Darfur crisis," President Mwai Kibaki said over the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) possible war crimes charges against President Omar al Bashir.

He noted that Bashir should be assisted by the international bodies that were keen on seeking a lasting solution to the Darfur conflict and not to be subjected to legal recourse in courts that may not have an understanding of the conflict.

The President said he had worked closely with the Sudan Government during the search for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, and encouraged the Government of Sudan to borrow on that experience to resolve the Darfur Conflict.

“What we need is a genuine peace process that brings together all the parties in the conflict, so as to end the conflict that has led to great suffering for many people,” said the President.

President Kibaki noted that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) should work closely and proactively to resolve the Darfur conflict adding that the two regional bodies had worked closely with the Government of Sudan to ensure that there was sustainable peace in Southern Sudan.

The Head of State made the remarks at his Harambee House Office on Monday when he received Bonal Malual, a Special Envoy of President Omar Hassan al- Bashir of Sudan. Malual was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, Majok Guandong.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Bashir of personally instructing his forces to annihilate three non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur, masterminding murder, torture, pillaging and the use of rape to commit genocide.

Last week, Moreno-Ocampo asked ICC judges to issue a warrant for Bashir’s arrest. If granted, which could take several months, it would be the first issued by The Hague-based court against a sitting head of state.

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